Janesville surgeon ordered to pay families after deadly crash in New Zealand

Courtesy: Braden Fastier / The Nelson Mail

NEW ZEALAND (WKOW) -- A Janesville heart surgeon was sentenced in court Monday in the case of a deadly crash in New Zealand.Monday, Dr. Kenneth Wolnak was ordered to pay the victims' families a total of $165,000 ($116,000 American).  It was one of the largest orders of its kind, according to the judge. Wolnak was charged for causing a three-car crash in February that killed two people. Four other people were hurt, including Wolnak's wife. He pleaded guilty to six different counts. He's currently on leave from his position as a heart surgeon at Mercyhealth in Janesville. 

The restorative justice program in New Zealand meant Wolnak met with victims and their families. During a victim impact statement, one of the victims' family members said "I hope you are able to continue saving lives and making a real difference in the world. That's what Dad would have wanted, too," according to Wolnak's attorney. 

Wolnak had a concussion and didn't remember the accident at all, according to his attorney. Now he's proposed setting up some kind of exchange program for Wisconsin doctors to go to New Zealand, according to New Zealand media

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/35222535/2017/04/24/janesville-surgeon-ordered-to-pay-families-after-deadly-crash-in-new-zealand

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